Bankruptcy After the Death of a Spouse


As we discussed last week on the Veitengruber Law blog, the death of a spouse is an incredibly traumatic event all on its own. In addition to taking the necessary time to grieve, many surviving spouses have the daunting task of dealing with looming financial concerns. In relationships where the deceased spouse managed all of the financial matters, this can be an extremely daunting and scary time.

Expenses can start to pile up rather quickly, especially if your spouse died unexpectedly and the two of you didn’t often communicate about money. In addition to making sure all of your bills are kept current (including utilities, mortgage(s), vehicle payments, life/auto/home insurance, association dues, doctors’/hospital bills) you will also have the added expenses associated with a funeral. Additionally, some spouses are surprised to find debts that were being kept hidden from them.

Like many other surviving spouses, Lynda* was devastated and completely lost after her relatively young husband died at the age of 43 after being diagnosed with Lymphoma only eight months prior to his death.  Dealing with the loss of her husband was more than enough for her to process; thus, she ignored incoming bills, late notices and warning letters from a multitude of companies and creditors who were trying to collect money.

When she finally arose from her bereavement long enough to take stock of her money situation, Lynda’s home was in foreclosure, and the only viable solution for her and her young daughters was to temporarily move in with friends. Her credit was in danger of being permanently ruined, and her children needed stability. One day, a friend, who happened to work in a law office, suggested that Lynda consider filing for bankruptcy.

If you or someone you know is in a similar situation, meeting with our bankruptcy firm is the step you need to take. We have all of the information you need in order to make the best financial decisions from this point forward. If you were left with little or no life insurance after your spouse passed away (like Lynda) and a humongous hill of debts, there are important facts you need to know before you even think about paying any lenders!

There are laws in New Jersey that will help you get to the other side of this financial hurdle. George Veitengruber, Esq. is an expert at negotiating with debtors as well as handling your bankruptcy case and subsequent credit repair. He will easily be able to explain to you which debts you will be required to pay, and those from which you will be absolved.

Potentially filing for bankruptcy may scare you. Years ago, there was a stigma associated with “going bankrupt,” but today that stigma is quickly disappearing. People everywhere have a better understanding that bankruptcy can be a good way to start over with a ‘tabula rasa‘, or a clean slate.

Will filing for bankruptcy knock out all of your debts? Probably not. Certain debts cannot be relieved, even through bankruptcy, but many can be eliminated entirely. Yet others can be reduced. With Veitengruber Law working for you, looking forward to a stable future will once again be possible.

*not a client; story used with permission

Photo courtesy of Mudflap DC

3 Responses to Bankruptcy After the Death of a Spouse

  1. Rob Rarick says:

    “A good proud family somehow lost. Read your article and the shoe fits us. My father recently passed. Now its me and my mother. He was a great man but they were not prepared at his passing. He was 79 she is 71. They both were accomplished professionals unaware. Please give any advice. Dad handled everything and the homestead is in jeapordy. We’ve never asked or given anything, ever… just need a little direction.

  2. Pingback: Am I Legally Responsible for My Late Husband’s Debts? | Veitengruber Law

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